These images were captures during stage four of the Volta ao Algarve, which covered over 220 kilometers of ground along the Spain-Portugal border and through Algarve’s lush inland countryside. The crown jewel of the race came on Monte Malhao, the home of a finishing two-lap circuit and a steep three kilometer climb. The entire team protected Mike Woods through cross winds and rolling hills to prepare him for the final push. It paid off – Woods finished fifth, a few seconds off the pace of stage winner and Sky superstar Richie Porte. Phil Gaimon finished 15th after a day of support for Woods, another impressive ride for what should be a highly effective team for the mountains in 2015.
The fourth start line was in Tavira, which also happens to be the name of a team in the race. Jose Sousa informed us that Tavira is considered one of the oldest cycling teams in the world. That didn’t stop a stray pup from jumping through the start gate early.
A different type of bike riders were caught oogling the team’s Diamondback steeds before the stage.
Phil Gaimon shows off a nasty old scar. When asked about its origin, he replied, “Some crash from my Cat. Four days. Not really sure, they all blend together.”
Assistant soigneur Raul Matias works his butt off every day, along with the rest of our highly accomplished Portugeuse support staff.
Raul helps Phil prepare the proper amount of nutrition for a 6-hour bike race.
Eric Young signs in for the second to last time at Algarve. The team’s field sprinter is licking his chops for the final day of racing, a flat run-in that should allow the team to form like Voltron after a tough day of climbing in stage four.
The team’s setup is dwarfed by the massive busses of nearly every other team involved in the race. That doesn;t seem to stop the Orange & Black from performing at the highest possible level.
Graffiti in Portugal is colurful and plentiful. It makes for a nice contrast with the bike race.
Beat up RV’s are extremely common in the Portugeuse contryside. This one provides a convenient heads-up display for tailgaters.
Much of the course for stage four ran along the beautiful borderlands between Portugal and Spain. You can see the tenants of Spanish architecture begin mixing in.
This flock of sheep was very intimidating. We kept our distance.
The crowds on Monte Malhao for the final climb were massive. They waited patiently for the peloton to arrive.
Guillaume Boivin is known for his sprint, but he is also an underrated climber.
We are still trying to figure this one out.
A very acrobatic chalker gets to work on Monte Malhao.
Mike Woods delivered an awe-inspring performance on Monte Malhao. A top-five finish against some of the world’s best climbers will definitely be turning some heads.
Phil Gaimon impressed after a day of support for woods. He kept the throttle pinned to finish 15th on the stage.
Hungry and thirsty riders begin their recovery after six hours in the saddle.